UAAP 82: Ateneo scores 20th straight win overall at expense of archrival La Salle

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 13, 2019 02:57 PM
UAAP: Ateneo scores 20th straight win at expense of La Salle
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Ateneo de Manila University is the first team into the next round of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament as Adrian Wong and Thirdy Ravena propelled them past archrival De La Salle University, 77-69, Sunday at MOA Arena.

Wong poured in a season-best 18 points built on 4-of-7 shooting from long-distance. "That was a good game of basketball, but if Adrian doesn't come out hot, we would have been in trouble," head coach Tab Baldwin said post-game.

It was also the veteran guard who hit the free throws that sealed the deal in the Blue Eagles' 10th win in as many games - enough for them to be the first team to clinch a playoff berth.

Ravena was right there with him with 13 points and seven rebounds to make sure the defending champions remained undefeated for 20 games running now dating back to the first round of last year.

La Salle was actually still in it with seven minutes remaining, only down six, 55-61, before Ravena and Gian Mamuyac conspired for seven straight points that re-increased the Ateneo lead to 68-55.

The Green Archers didn't quit just yet, but they were put down once and for all by Wong's steady hands from the line in the last minute.

Ange Kouame also posted a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double on top of three blocks and two assists for the Blue Eagles who re-asserted their mastery over their archrivals with a fifth consecutive victory in rivalry games. "We hung on. I think we can play better, but we gotta give credit to La Salle," their mentor said.

For La Salle, Encho Serrano topped the scoring column with 15 points off the bench while Justine Baltazar had 12 markers and nine rebounds four days after a 25-25 game.

Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio combined for 21 points in 7-of-23 shooting to see their side fall to joint fourth at 4-5.

BOX SCORES

ATENEO 77 - Wong 18, Ravena 13, Kouame 10, Navarro 9, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 5, Mi. Nieto 5, Daves 3, Ma. Nieto 3, Tio 3, Go 2.

LA SALLE 69 - Serrano 15, Baltazar 12, Caracut 11, Malonzo 10, Melecio 10, Manuel 7, Bartlett 2, Bates 2, Lojera 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 19-15, 36-30, 55-50, 77-69.

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